The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
The Region 1 Sports Report M-F 4p-5p.
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Leach Report Weekdays, 8-9a
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
The Morning Tip-off with Michael Bennett weekdays 7-8
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
Kentucky Sports Radio, Weekdays, 9-11a
The Dan Patrick Show, Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
The Dan Patrick Show,  Weekdays 11a-2p
Here are Saturday's high school basketball scores featuring local teams.

Boys Scores

Warren East 79, Trigg County 54
Takoma Academy, MD 71, Marshall County 64
Carlisle County 75, Lyon County 66
Crittenden County 55, Hardin County, IL 53
Fulton City 84, Clarksburg, TN 62
Graves County 66, Paducah Tilghman 52
McCracken County 64, Bowling Green 60
Pope County, IL 52, CCA 45

Girls Scores

Christian County 50, Graves County 43
Marshall County 53, Woodrow Wilson, DC 52
Calloway County 68, Hickman County 23
McCracken County 70, Cairo, IL 15
Pope County 57, CCA 46
Union County 43, Lyon County 28
Warren East 41, Trigg County 26
Anna-Jonesboro 56, Massac County 36
After surviving a surprising challenge on its home floor, Buffalo is ready for a challenging road ahead.

Nick Perkins had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 14 Buffalo beat Southern Illinois 73-65 on Saturday ahead of a pivotal trip to face Syracuse and No. 21 Marquette next week.

The undefeated Bulls (10-0) are eyeing a return to the NCAA Tournament after upending No. 4 seed Arizona as a 13th seed last year.

"It's the biggest week of our nonconference season," Buffalo coach Nate Oats said. "If we take care of business this week, we pretty much guarantee ourselves an at-large bid."

The reigning Mid-American Conference champs entered the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history after beating then-No. 13 West Virginia on Nov. 9 and have risen in the rankings every week since.

"If we come out and play like we are capable of playing, I think we can get two wins," Oats said. "Even if we get one out of the two, I think we get an at-large bid if we do what we are supposed to in conference."

Southern Illinois (7-5) gave Buffalo a chance to prepare for Tuesday's matchup with Syracuse by switching to a zone defense after the Bulls opened up an early 25-8 lead. The Salukis trimmed the advantage to 33-28 by halftime and came back again in the second half after the Bulls built their largest lead, 59-39, with 10:46 remaining.

"They kind of shocked us," Perkins said of the switch to zone. "It's something that helps us going into Syracuse. Obviously, they play zone for 40 minutes. So SIU, I thought they helped us a little bit with knowing what plays to work."

Perkins scored 11 points during a 17-0 run that forced Salukis coach Barry Hinson to try the zone.

"I thought Perkins would immediately have to go to Springfield and enter the Hall of Fame, the way he played," Hinson said.

Oats said it was the best game of the season for Buffalo's senior sixth man.

"It told him before the game, it's been about a month or so since he got a double-double," Oats said. "It's time to get another one."

Sean Lloyd had 14 points to lead Southern Illinois in its second straight loss.

BIG PICTURE

Buffalo: The Bulls continued their best start since the 1930-31 season, when they finished 15-0. On a 10-game win streak for the first time since 1964-65, the Bulls have also won 17 in a row at home dating to last season.

Southern Illinois: The Salukis have struggled without leading scorer Armon Fletcher, who has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. Saturday's loss followed an 80-52 defeat at home against Murray State.

KEY STAT

Point guard Davonta Jordan (11 points) led a defensive effort that forced Southern Illinois into 22 turnovers, including eight charging fouls. The takeaways led to 23 points for the Bulls, which helped make up for a 7-for-30 performance from 3-point range.

PLAYING HURT

Buffalo's leading scorer, CJ Massinburg, wore a wrap on his hand after jamming his finger in practice Tuesday. He struggled with his outside shot, going 0 for 4 from beyond the arc, and finished with 14 points, three below his season average.

SCOREBOARD WATCH

Oats was disappointed to see that Syracuse lost at home against Old Dominion on Saturday.

"That's the worst thing we needed right now," Oats said. "If you beat them it's not as much as a quality win either because they lost to Old Dominion, and I think they are going to be playing way harder."

UP NEXT

Buffalo visits the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, looking to beat Syracuse for the first time since 1963. The Orange pulled away late to win last year's meeting 81-74.

Southern Illinois hosts Winthrop on Dec. 22 in its final nonconference game.

Louisville used a combination of sharp shooting and effective defense Saturday afternoon to put away Kent State.

The Cardinals got 17 points from Christen Cunningham and 16 from Dwayne Sutton — both season highs — as they notched their seventh consecutive home win, beating the Golden Flashes 83-70.

Louisville (8-3) shot 51 percent from the floor, making 26 of 51, led by Cunningham, who made 5-of-6 shots.

"I think our best offense today was just driving the ball," he said. "When teams are out denying the passing lanes, it leaves a lot of space for me in the court. I think that just opened up getting some easy baskets, and I got into a pretty good rhythm."

The Golden Flashes (8-2) led 13-10 after a Jalen Avery 3-pointer with 13:10 left in the first half. However, Kent State made just two baskets over the next 6:47 as the Cardinals took command. A Malik Williams 3-pointer with 12:28 left in the half made it 14-13 Cardinals, who never trailed after that.

Louisville finished the first half making eight of its last 10 shots, capped by a Cunningham 15-footer with two seconds left that extended the halftime lead 45-28. The graduate transfer from Samford scored 12 points in the half, hitting all four of his shots.

Cardinals coach Chris Mack especially liked the way his team played on both sides of the court in the first half, as Kent State missed seven of its last 11 shots.

"I thought that was as good as we played on both ends of the floor. That's where we got the separation," he said.

The lead grew to 54-30 with 16:36 remaining after a 3-point play by Cunningham. Louisville led by 19 with 1:21 left before the Golden Flashes finished off the game with a 6-0 run.

Sutton, a junior wing, scored 12 of his points and grabbed six of his seven rebounds in the second half. Jordan Nwora and Williams added 13 points for Louisville, with Nwora posting 10 rebounds.

Jaylin Walker scored 28 points to lead Kent State. It's the fourth time the senior guard, who drained 7 of-10 3-point shots, has led the Golden Flashes in scoring in five games since serving a five-game suspension to start the season.

BIG PICTURE

Kent State: Off to their best start in five years, the Golden Flashes finally hit a roadblock as they stepped up in competition. After holding their first nine opponents to 43.9 percent shooting, the Golden Flashes allowed Louisville to shoot 60 percent in the first half and could not keep pace.

"I was disappointed in where we were defensively," coach Rob Senderoff said. "We weren't as locked in as we needed to be, but at the same time you've got to give them credit. They made shots, they made plays for each other. They competed at a high level. That's why they were playing as well as they were."

Louisville: The Cardinals eclipsed the 50 percent shooting mark for just the fourth time this season, but it was as much due to their outside shooting as their work inside. Louisville shot a season-best 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc on 9-of-18 shooting.

LIMITING TURNOVERS

After committing a season-high 17 turnovers in their 72-68 win over Lipscomb Saturday, the Cardinals committed just 10 on Saturday, and that came even after Kent State employed a trapping defense.

"They were virtually pressing from the 12-minute mark on down, and for us to do what we did, we didn't quite convert every time, but I thought we got the shots that we wanted," Mack said.

FORE STEPPING UP

The Cardinals got a strong game from another graduate transfer as well. Khwan Fore started for the second straight game, and the guard who came from Richmond, known mostly as a defensive stopper, posted a season-best nine points on 3-of-4 shooting.

UP NEXT

Kent State: The Golden Flashes will travel to play Oregon State in a Friday afternoon affair.

Louisville: The Cardinals also return to action Friday, when they host Robert Morris. It will be Louisville's last game before hosting No. 19 Kentucky on Dec. 29.

Keldon Johnson is finding his stride and getting a feel for making clutch shots.

The freshman guard scored 24 points, including five 3-pointers in the first half, and No. 19 Kentucky beat Utah 88-61 Saturday.

Johnson made a career-high six shots from long range on seven attempts as Kentucky made a season-high 12 3-pointers against the Utes.

"I'm not afraid to take a big shot or step up in big moments," said Johnson, who hit a half-court 3 at the buzzer to send the game into overtime in last week's loss to Seton Hall. "I'm shooting with confidence. That's the main thing — my teammates have been just telling me to keep shooting. After I hit the first one, I knew it was going to be a good day."

Kentucky coach John Calipari lauded Johnson's performance.

"His whole thing is (staying focused)," Calipari said. "You know, you can't just play hard in spurts and then stay in the game. You can play hard in spurts and sub yourself. He's learning."

Tyler Herro scored 17 points, Reid Travis added 16 and Immanuel Quickley chipped in with 10 for the Wildcats (8-2), who lost their best 3-point shooter when Green decided to transfer nine games into his sophomore season.

Overall, the Wildcats attempted 21 shots from behind the arc, a number that's close to Calipari's target for his squad.

"I've been telling them I want to shoot between 20 and 23 3s a game. If we shoot 30, we will lose the game," he said. "Historically, if you go back over my career, of 30-some years, if we shoot 30, my team loses.

"We want to get to the foul line, we want 2-point baskets and we want to offensive rebound. Hard to offensive rebound, miss threes, because they are bouncing everywhere. But you know, we shot the ball pretty well today."

Early on, it was a struggle as the Wildcats trailed 10-2 just 5 minutes into the game, but Kentucky outscored the Utes 28-9 to push the lead to 30-19. The Wildcats did not trail again.

Johnson highlighted the decisive run with four 3-pointers, including three straight, and finished with 15 points in the opening half.

Both Gach led the Utes (4-5) with 22 points, followed by Jayce Johnson with 11.

BIG PICTURE

Utah: The Utes lost their eighth straight game to the Wildcats. Kentucky defeated Utah 78-69 in the 1998 NCAA title game in San Antonio. The Wildcats beat Utah six times in the 1990s, including four times in the NCAA Tournament. The Utes out-rebounded Kentucky 31-23, becoming the first team to top the Wildcats on the boards this season. "That's one thing we can hang our hat on," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

Kentucky: The Wildcats have picked up steam from behind the arc after starting the season slowly. Kentucky has made at least five 3-pointers in each of the past four games. The trend began when Kentucky connected on 10 3s in a 90-44 win over Monmouth on Nov. 28.

POLL INPLICATIONS

The Wildcats dropped 10 spots from No. 9 to 19th following the loss to Seton Hall, but they can begin climbing back toward the Top 10 if they can finish out the month with wins over North Carolina and in-state rival Louisville.

"It could have ended up a different story, but things happen for a reason," Prickett said. "It was a great experience for me."

UP NEXT

Utah hosts Florida A&M on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats play No. 12 North Carolina in the Champions Classic on Saturday in Chicago.

Shaq Buchanan hit three 3-pointers and scored 19 points and Tevin Brown sank four 3s on his way to 16 points to propel Murray State to a 74-57 victory over Jackson State on Saturday night.

Ja Morant finished with a career-high 14 assists to go with 10 points for the Racers (7-1).

Chris Howell's layup pulled Jackson State within 23-22 with 6:28 left in the first half, but Brion Sanchious and Buchanan had 3-point plays to spark an 11-2 run and the Racers led 34-24 at intermission. Buchanan hit back-to-back 3s to give the Racers a 46-30 lead with 16:06 left to play and the Tigers could get no closer than 11 from there.

Howell topped the Tigers (2-9) with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

Murray State has forced 55 turnovers in its last three games, including 15 by the Tigers.